Substantial Prevalence of Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis Worldwide

The real-world global prevalence of atopic dermatitis in the pediatric population was estimated.

A global survey administered to people across 18 countries suggests atopic dermatitis (AD) affects 13.5% to 41.9% of children, with less than 15% of pediatric patients reporting severe AD. Findings from this survey were reported in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

The web-based, cross-sectional survey queried 65,661 children and adolescents (age range, <6 months-18 years) and their parents from 18 countries. These countries included the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Japan, and Taiwan.

In the survey, researchers used 2 definitions to identify prevalence of AD in the pediatric population: The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) criteria and self/parent-report of being told by a physician that they/their child has AD (eczema) as well as reported AD based on only ISAAC criteria. In addition, the investigators assessed the severity of AD in these participants with the Patient Global Assessment (PtGA) and Patient Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM).

The 12-month diagnosed AD prevalence, which included the combined ISAAC and self-reported AD diagnosis, ranged from 2.7% in Israel to 20.1% in Brazil. The reported AD prevalence, assessed by only ISAAC criteria, ranged from a low of 13.5% in Israel to 41.9% in Italy. Aside from Israel, where the prevalence of severe AD was approximately 25% in children, severe AD ranged from 0.9% to 14.9%. Generally, prevalence of AD was lower in rural regions compared with urban and suburban settings. There were no observable trends in prevalence based on age or sex.

Limitations of this study were the lack of African countries in the survey as well as the inclusion of some self-reported AD diagnostic data.

The researchers wrote that the data from this survey “underscore the need for a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the observed differences across countries and regions” while providing the basis “for hypothesis-driven studies to characterize these factors such as potential interactions between environment and genetics.”

Disclosure: This clinical trial was supported by Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Silverberg JI, Barbarot S, Gadkari A, et al. Atopic dermatitis in the pediatric population: A cross-sectional, international epidemiologic study. Published online January 6, 2021. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. doi:10.1016/j.anai.2020.12.020